On The Upside, These Gay Kids Have Awesome Parents!

The news has been a bit depressing lately. It’s the end of the school year and apparently everyone wants to get in one last shot at the gay kids before heading off to college and becoming a LUG.

But here’s one trend that’s far from depressing: parents standing up for their gay kids! Like Cheyenne Williams’ mom (here’s the update on that case — defense is claiming it was staged), and Ceara Sturgis‘s Mom, and Constance McMillen’s parents, and Debbie Novotny! And also the woman from Prayers for Bobby and Matthew Shepard’s Mom! Maybe even your mom!

These are parents that are standing by their kids and defending their daughters, refusing to relent to bigotry or social pressure. And they’re setting a positive example for other parents who might be afraid to advocate for their parents’ rights. ‘Cause the truth is that in a year, when Ceara, Constance and Cheyenne are away at college, it’s the parents who will remain in town, bravely.


Remember Ceara Sturgis, the girl who wanted to wear a tux in her yearbook and the school said no? She did get into the glaad awards in Los Angeles last week, but in what seems to be a growing trend, did not find success locally:

They didn’t even put her name in it,” Sturgis’ mother Veronica Rodriguez said. “I was so furious when she told me about it. Ceara started crying and I told her to suck it up. Is that not pathetic for them to do that? Yet again, they have crapped on her and made her feel alienated.”

Sturgis and her mother commissioned the Mississippi ACLU to protest officials’ October 2009 decision not to allow Sturgis’ photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.


The California Assembly has struck down a law equating homosexuality with child molestation. The lower house adopted a measure Monday to strike a 20-year-old line of state code that directed the Department of Mental Health to conduct research into “the causes and cures of sexual deviation” including “the causes and cures of homosexuality.”


A trans student was slashed in a campus bathroom at CSU Long Beach, but police took 10 days to publicize it and ask for help finding the attacker. There’s no question that this one was a hate crime: the attacker called the student by name and then slashed the word “IT” into the victim’s chest. (@presstelegram)


Lesbian is making shit HAPPEN. The Houston Police Department will allow gay and lesbian officers to march in uniform in the city’s Pride parade this June!


You need more terrible news, don’t you? How about the story of Jerry Lee Seger, who allegedly killed his daughter’s girlfriend. Police say he allegedly blamed 24-year-old Courtney Bright for leading his daughter down what he felt was the wrong path — including a three-year lesbian affair — strangled Bright to death and left her body in an abandoned house. The world is losing its sh*t. (@cbsnews)


The Washington Blade is back after some former staff members recently bought the rights to the name and the archives. The Blade is one of the longest-running gay publications in the US. Some staff members had kept the spirit alive after the Blade was forced to close a few months ago. They’ll publish under the old moniker again starting Friday. (@washingtonpost)


Despite the efforts of the UK’s conservative party, the Tory’s gay support is dropping ahead of upcoming elections. The latest of these polls from Pink News (which has its own demographically-weighted voter panel) is showing a 30-point collapse in Tory support over the last 10 months (39% in June 2009 to 9% today) and a 38-point surge for the Liberal Democrats (20% in June 2009, 58% today). (@guardian)


It’s not the weirdest thing we’ve read all week (I know it’s only Tuesday; it’s been a weird few days), but this is still SUPER ridiculous. A restaurant in Australia refused service to a blind customer “after staff misheard his female companion, and thought his ‘guide dog’ was a ‘gay dog.'” They’ve been ordered to pay the man for damages and apologize. But for real, these people thought the dog was gay. I don’t even understand how that’s possible. (@huffpo)


Finland is expected to legalize gay marriage next year!! YAY FINLAND!

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. Most of that is very depressing but important to know so thanks for posting it. Those mums are amazing, I do wish mine was as accepting as that, she even said the other day she wished I was straight, le sigh! Anyway, the gay dog thing is effing ridiculous, what did they think the dog was going to do, mince in and critique the decor?!

    Also, yay for Finland, a lot of Europe is really progressive as regards gay rights, I just wish Ireland and the UK would follow suit, but they never will, at least not in our lifetime.

  2. Gay dog scandal? What is this, Legally Blonde 2?

    I’m totally going to regret making that reference.

  3. Also, I heart Debbie Novotny! She’s the PFLAG mom I never had. Not that my mom isn’t supportive. :D

  4. Mm, my dad’s nuts and that story is literally the fear that causes a recurring panic attack I have when I think about coming out to him. And now it really happened to some one. Shoot.

  5. D= seriously. I come to this site to be amused and occasionally enraged. Stop depressing me.

    Also, gay dogs. They refused service because of an allegedly gay dog. WTF Australia.

  6. that whole gay dog thing reminded me of the time I was talking to my Nana about food and I said “I had spotted dick last night” and my girlfriend slapped me. I don’t know why she thought that I was sleeping with a man that had leprosy… oh misunderstandings

  7. Thanks for this newsy round-up! Awesome news about Houston and Finland. Mr. Prez needs to put his motherfucking foot down on some shit, yo. I can’t help but feel like the idiot public is behaving like a very dangerous toddler testing its parents boundaries.

  8. I thought “California struck down anti-gay law” was referring to prop 8 and not some medieval sodomy-law. Especially after seeing how america was rounding up all the redheads and blowing them up, you can imagine this fix was bringing me down.
    Right until the end! Would you believe that a gender-neutral marriage law is about to breeze through my nations congress and this is the first I’ve heard of it? I had to check to make sure it wasn’t a misunderstanding, and yes it’s true, apparently I need to pick up a newspaper now and then. I’m still cautious though, because it’s quite common in Finland for all major parties to take a shared progressive stance on some issue before elections, only to fail inexplicably on the follow-through. However these cases usually involve some serious shadowplay with economic interests, and that shouldn’t be a problem here. Let’s just hope Denmark doesn’t beat us to the punch is what I’m saying.

  9. Considering how big Long Beach’s gay scene is, this makes me extra sad that my teenage homo refugee got hate crimed. :(

    Also. Holy fuck that police sketch for that story is NSFL. My soul feels violated just from that sketch.

  10. I live in the town of the ‘gay dog scandal’ and I sort of feel compelled to say the owner clarified that wasn’t gay-dog discrimination, the waiter misunderstood ‘guide dog’ as ‘gay dog’ and didn’t want to let it in due to health regulations.

    Because discriminating against the disabled is apparently more acceptable… or something.

    Seriously, come to Adelaide. It’s great here.

    • Well there’s great wine there…..which you’re gonna need to survive a day in Adelaide. ;)

      j/k I’m from W.A. we’re bred to hate everything east of the Nullarbor.

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